Philosophers discuss whether sustainable living is realistic

Philosophers’ Café: Are we able and ready to make changes to ensure we sustain our world?

In 1987, the UN Brundtland Commission defined sustainable development as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

But today, one in four people on this planet live on less than $3 per day. One in 11 live without access to clean water and one in nine do not have enough food to eat. Only 62 per cent of forest-able land is still forested, reducing our carbon sink below sustainable levels. Since 1970 the number of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians has fallen by 50 per cent.

We are not living sustainably.

Almost three years ago, all 193 member countries approved the Sustainable Development Goals. These SDGs, often called the Global Goals, are aspirational in nature; some might call them audacious. Eliminate poverty and hunger. Create gender equality. Ensure sustainable production patterns. How is this possible?

The 17 Global Goals are deeply interconnected; work to eliminate poverty is related to initiatives to build gender equality and healthy communities. Actions related to climate change have impacts on industrial production and on use of water resources. And these goals are universal. In the past, the UN Millennial goals were focused on how the global North would help solve the problems of the developing world. These are goals for all countries to work toward; potable water, healthy lives and education for all children, sustainable production.

Are we able and ready to make changes to ensure we sustain our world? What changes do we need to make in our personal lives, in our communities and in our province?

Do we need to rethink our commitment to growth? What might a world that is not about growth, but is about regeneration, look like?

Join Colleen Hanley to consider if we can live sustainably. Hanley is retired from international education at North Island College after a career offered her opportunities for extensive international travel and teaching, and counseling opportunities in the public and post-secondary systems.

Hanley has undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology and leadership, respectively, and has completed diplomas in conflict management and appreciative inquiry. She is a past board member of the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation and the Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research. She is currently chair of the Comox Valley Global Awareness Network.

Once a month, a speaker will introduce a theme to the Café, and then all who attend can join in respectful, non-partisan conversation, or just sit back and listen. You are welcome to propose topics and introduce them at future Cafés.

Themes should be of broad interest and national significance, and have an element of controversy to them.

As with each Café, Hanley will have just 10 minutes to introduce the topic, and then the floor is open for 50 minutes of moderated discussion.

The next Philosophers’ Café takes place from 7-8 p.m. in the community room at Berwick Comox Valley, 1700 Comox Ave., Comox, Wednesday, June 6.

There is no admission charge.

Just Posted

Associate pastor made early connections in Courtenay

Central Evangelical Free Church opens at former Record office

Seeing double, the trials and tribulations of twins

BIG READ: Three Vancouver Island mothers share their experiences with multiple births

Comox Valley teen with autism a spectacular guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in Port Alice exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

Most Read